Cardboard dinghies float the KinniA big group of seniors from Prescott High School visited River Falls Friday, May 18, to do a fun-but-educational Physics exercise in the Kinnickinnic River, near the Swinging Bridge and South Fork of the river.
By: Debbie Griffin, River Falls Journal
A big group of seniors from Prescott High School visited River Falls Friday, May 18, to do a fun-but-educational Physics exercise in the Kinnickinnic River, near the Swinging Bridge and South Fork of the river.
Teacher Michael Kosmalski said he got the lesson idea at a teacher’s conference and that the seniors not only come to do their experiment in the Kinni, but also to hold their senior picnic in Glen Park after the ‘races.’
He said it was the 7th year for the kids to come and splash around for the year-end experiment; the Physics class floated a total of 10 cardboard boats.
Partners were tasked with building a boat they could paddle about 200 feet. Students were given for boat construction one roll of duct tape and as much ¼-inch cardboard as they wanted. Kids had to figure out exactly how far into the water their boats would sit while bearing their weight -- applying paint or finish only to parts that would not be submerged.
Their teacher said they started the project by studying Archimedes Principle, “They figure out how much volume they need to carry,” said Kosmalski, adding that those calculations led them to designing a boat that was shaped right and sat at a proper height.
One student times each of the boat runs, after seven of 10 runs, and each boat had a theme. Kosmalski said grade-point awards would be given to the students with the fastest time in the boat, as well as the partners who had the best theme. Before building the full-sized boat, students had to develop three concepts plus a scale model.